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With the carriage of the government's enterprise and regulatory reform bill and growth and enterprise bill in April, it will now be even easier to be sacked. Unite accused the government of reprising the darkest tactics of the Thatcher era by ushering in an era of ‘hire and fire’ in a desperate attempt to shore up its catastrophic mismanagement of the economy.

The bills give the green light to ‘rogue’ employers by making it cheaper to sack workers unlawfully and ushering in punishing charges for workers’ redress. The government will also allow employers seeking to shut down larger workplaces to do so with limited consultation with employees, so, believes Unite, hanging an ‘exit here’ sign above UK plc.

We say… “The effect of today’s bills is that workers will become

more frightened and work will become even more precarious. Workers will be denied access to justice, yet ‘rogue’ employers will be given the green light to discriminate and sack workers unlawfully.

“Those desperate for work face the choice between signing their rights away and putting food on the table or the dole queue. Truly, it is only the Nasty Party who would put people in such a miserable, abused position.

“Once again, Cameron and Osborne prove that this recession is all they need to transport us back to the dark days of Thatcherism where the world of work is more unequal and ordinary people struggle under tumbling living standards. Those policies failed our nation then and they will fail us again.”

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, April 16 2013 reacting to bills’ carriage

19 uniteWORKSMay/June 2013

They say… “Our starting point is that Britain already has very

flexible labour markets. But we acknowledge that more can be done to help small companies by reducing the burden of employment tribunals, which we are reforming, and moving to less confrontational dispute resolutions through settlement agreements.” Guardian

Vince Cable MP, September 14, 2012

Others say… “Ministers should be making it easier to hire, not easier

to fire people. We are in a double dip recession due to this government’s failed economic policies, not because of the protections people have at work. Instead of adopting a credible plan for growth, this government is attacking rights of every employee in this country. Sacrificing people’s rights at work is not the way to bolster consumer confidence and get our economy moving again.” Guardian

Chuka Umunna MP, September 14 2012

Stefano Cagnoni/

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